A reform to defend sustainability, so that environment, social inclusion and economic profitability can go hand in hand
The Ancona International Fishing Fair takes place from 21 to 24 June. Organised for the first time in 1933 and now at its 72nd edition, this prestigious event offers the opportunity for several meetings on key topics, including the policies regulating the sector.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki, although unable to attend personally the event, addressed a message to the participants of the opening ceremony of the Fair:
"We all agree that it is urgent to reform our fisheries system. On 12 June, the Council took a real step forward reaching a compromise on our proposal for a radical reform at Common fisheries Policy. This compromise is in the right direction. To end over-fishing in the European Union, to endorse the need of a discard ban and to accept a definitive target to achieve sustainable fishing levels.
It is a fact that the Commission proposal is more ambitious. This remains the base of our negotiation after the expected decision of the European Parliament.
All the components of our plan are fundamental ingredients to re-launch the industry, create safe and attractive jobs and position Europe strongly on the international market.
Maintaining 2015 as the deadline to bring fish stocks at sustainable levels is certainly an ambitious goal for us all. But I don’t think we can put it off any longer. In parallel, discards need to be fought head-on.
Also fishing capacity needs to be reduced. We understand that many might be skeptical towards the transferable fishing concessions but nobody seems to be able to suggest a valid alternative. On the other hand we have done everything to avoid possible negative consequences, like fleet concentration, ringfencing small scale or regional fleets.
And let us not forget that the reform also stresses other drivers for growth that are of primary importance: sustainable aquaculture and the development of coastal areas.
With our reform plan we defend the principle of sustainability, so that environment, social inclusion and economic profitability can go hand in hand. We also have a new external and market policy to secure a level-playing field with our Mediterranean or other neighbours. For all these reasons I think we have to go for this ambitious plan for reform and focus on helping fishermen at this time of change. This is what I promise to do."